Moth Prevention 2014

Hundreds of wool rugs will be eaten by moths this May in Victoria BC.

April 2014…The clothes case making moth and webbing moth eat the fibres of wool rugs causing expensive repair costs or lost of a treasured rug. It is the larva of the moths that eat away at your rugs. They thrive in dark, dirty and undisturbed areas, which include closets, attics, under furniture and even underneath your rugs. The female can lay 50 to 100 eggs and they all hatch, it depends on the size of the food source if they all survive.

Stephen “Dusty” Roberts, Master Rug Cleaner and team leader at Luv-A-Rug in Victoria BC Canada, says “This is the biggest outbreak of moth infested rugs that we have seen in years and I suspect it is because of less pesticides in the environment.” Until June 30, 2014 Luv-A-Rug is doing no obligation free moth inspections in Victoria BC.

How to Spot Moth Damage

  • you notice missing tufts of wool
  • you see what looks and feels like course sand in or under your rug
  • you see what looks like rice shaped fluff, i.e.: larva casings
  • you notice small (1/2 inch) golden moths fluttering near wool items (not near light sources)
  • you start to see the white foundation cotton on the back of your rug (see pictures below)

Here you can see a small devit on the back of the rug where moth larva have eaten 

 tiny moth damage1











Here you can see where the moth larva have eaten a large area of the back of the rug. This would cause a big hole of missing fibers on the top side of the rug 

early moth damage on back of rug












Here is early moth damage on the top side of a rug















The picture below shows the rice shaped larva casings, missing fibers and the blue sand that is the larvas excrement

 Severe moth casings and excrement on stored rug









How to Prevent Moth Damage
Here are 6 ways to prevent moths from finding your wool area rugs appealing:

  1. Get your rugs cleaned by a professional rug cleaner every 1-2 yrs.
  2. Get pet urine accidents professionally cleaned right away, moths love pet urine.
  3. Vacuum your rugs top and bottom. By vacuuming your rugs upside down you can eliminate up to 3 times of hidden dirt and check for hidden moth damage
  4. Getting your air ducts and vents cleaned before using them eliminates a hidden food source for moths.
  5. Cleaning all wool items before storing them and storing them properly
  6. Vacuuming your entire rug at least once a month, this includes the backside of rug and under furniture.

What to do if you find Moths
Even with the best cleaning regime, moths may still find their way to your wool rugs. If you find that moths have started eating your wool rug there are things you can do to prevent them from spreading to other rugs, clothes and blankets.

  • First roll up the infected rug, if possible wrap it in an old sheet or plastic bag and remove it from your home and call your professional rug cleaners to get the rug in for cleaning and moth treatment
  • Vacuum where the rug was, including around baseboards, under furniture, and vents
  • Check all your wool items in your closet and storage to see if they have moth activity/damage
  • Get all your rugs professionally cleaned and treated for moths. The eggs are very small and it just takes one to do damage to your rugs.
  • Call a local licensed pest control if you have a large infestation or reoccurring issues
  • For small wool items, you can put the item in a plastic bag, squeeze out the air, seal the bag and put the bag in a deep freezer for one week. Remove item, keep it in the sealed bag, let it warm up to room temperature for a couple of days and put back into deep freezer for another week. Remove item and get it professionally cleaned.

About Luv-A-Rug

Luv-A-Rug is the only wool safe certified rug cleaner in Victoria BC. They have been expertly cleaning and repairing rugs for over 20 years. For more information check out their website